News

    AU: South Sudan's Capture of Heglig Oil Field 'Illegal'

    The African Union said Thursday that South Sudan acted illegally when it sent troops across the border into Sudan to capture a strategic oil field and demanded the force's immediate withdrawal. Diplomats are urging the presidents of both countries to show leadership as war seems imminent.

    The AU Peace and Security Council condemned Sudan as well as South Sudan for hostile actions that appear to signal a resumption of the war that ended seven years ago.  Peace and Security Commissioner Ramtane Lamamra warned that the south's military incursion into the northern oil field at Heglig and the north's aerial bombing campaign had raised tensions to a new level.

    "It cannot be reduced to yet just another incident like the ones we have seen before.  Therefore, it is the feeling in the Peace and Security Council that it is the time now for the two leaders -- Presidents Omar al-Bashir and Salva Kiir -- to display the required leadership, so that the two countries would avoid a disastrous war which the two people do not need to fall in again," Lamamra said.

    But the south's capture of Heglig appears to have dashed all hopes for a Bashir-Kiir summit.  The Khartoum government said it was pulling out of AU-mediated talks.  And a hoped-for meeting on the sidelines of a security summit in Ethiopia on Saturday and Sunday evaporated when it was announced that President Bashir would not attend.

    AU diplomats say South Sudan's move to capture and close the Heglig oil fields has cut Sudan's oil production in half.  That has raised calls in Khartoum for swift military action to reclaim the fields.

    As border clashes escalated on Thursday, South Sudan President Kiir told parliament he would not order a withdrawal from Heglig.  He said the south has a rightful claim to the area.

    The AU Peace and Security Council rejected that claim, in a statement read by Commissioner Lamamra.

    "The council is dismayed by the illegal and unacceptable occupation by the South Sudanese armed forces of Heglig, which lies north of the agreed border line of the first of January 1956 border line.  The Council demanded the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of the army of the Republic of South Sudan from the area," Lamamra said.

    African Union officials expressed concern about deteriorating conditions on several fronts.  The Khartoum government is said to be delaying efforts to provide humanitarian aid to South Kordofan and Blue Nile states along the border.  More than 400,000 people there fled their homes last year after violence broke out, and reports suggest that troops are massing for more fighting.

    AU diplomats also noted reports of irregular militias forming to support regular Sudanese army forces in Blue Nile and Kordofan states.  Those officials say that previously, military activity in the region had been exclusively by regular military units.  

    The appearance of militia units is raising fears of a return to the village burnings and other brutal tactics attributed to the Janjaweed militias that ravaged Darfur during the early days of that region's civil war nearly a decade ago.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments page of 2
        Next 
    by: yuyubenson
    April 16, 2012 10:36 AM
    South Sudan should adhere to international conventions and respect the ruling of the international arbitration court on Heglig which was judged to be part of the Republic of Sudan. It is unfortunate this new state has began on the wrong footing.

    by: Pete
    April 13, 2012 5:26 PM
    AU has became useless organization and mouthpiece of criminal like Bashir and its clearly shown that AU is not really partial about this conflict. Imagine Sudan government has been bombing South Sudan during the independent upto now, Sudan decided to invaded in front of UN & AU and they have never condamn Sudan or asked her to withdrawn with or without unconditional. Wether AU or UN want it is all fair game. South Sudanese suffered for a very long time.

    by: sunm kalotori
    April 13, 2012 9:25 AM
    I can not blame north Sudan but south Sudan is also threat because they knew that world will support them because Bashir sound victim everywhere

    by: Tiger
    April 13, 2012 7:21 AM
    I think AUgust,UN should urge the North Sudan to immediately pull out it's troops from Abyei,otherwise South Sudan will comply with the threatness from AU and the UN.even now there's evidences about Khartoum bombardment to the innocent civilians and AU,UN haven't say anything to North.

    by: Tiger
    April 13, 2012 7:10 AM
    AU,UN and the rest don't know about the history of Sudan ,stop giving Heglig to the North Sudan.Abyei is part of the South Sudan.

    by: kissa durank
    April 13, 2012 4:12 AM
    AU and the arts of defending and supporting of Sudan government in killing millions of Sudanese. Where has AU been all those months when Sudan government has been bombing South Sudan, killing thousands and occupying Abyei !

    by: Emah
    April 13, 2012 1:23 AM
    as if the 21 years of civil war isn't enough. we lost our dear ones, we live in ruins all our lives. deeply wounded. we thought we had a future again after the separation but its was too soon to believe that. our smiles are fading off from our faces. we have no one to look for for help! we are ignored. our pains have not been felt. where else do we go again? " i will lift my hands and cry to GOD for help because that is where our help comes from"

    by: Ori Nimu
    April 12, 2012 11:23 PM
    AU should know Heglig, Kafika Kingi, Abyei belong to South according to 1956 boundery, when Oil and Copper were discovered in these areas Khartoum decreed it Unity State. AU the world community must know these areas belong to RSS including Abyei. Please investigate the legal owners, before making illegal statements.

    by: Martin
    April 12, 2012 11:19 PM
    AU and UN are not fair enough to order the withdrawal of southern armies from
    Heglig when bodies are lying day by day in Bentiu from aerial bombardment from Khartoum and no concern from AU and UN. Note only
    that, when Khartoum invaded Abyei upto now occupying no one asked them to withdraw or if any no action taken against them. We south Sudanese have the right to revenge to self deference since their no rule of law internationally.

    by: Erua Doro
    April 12, 2012 11:08 PM
    AU & UN are always biased.The cause of the last Sudan's civil war & the cancellation of the Adiss Ababa agreement was the discovery of oil in Southern Sudan. Nimeiri became very arrogant and decided to annex some part of South to the North and renaming them to Arabic names so that at the end the AU & UN will believe they are part of Northern Sudan. They don't sleep always planning evils & how to eradicate Southerners. Heglig's real name is Panthum. We will die for it.
    Comments page of 2
        Next 

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Eitheri
    X
    Jim Malone
    June 29, 2016 6:16 PM
    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Either

    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeast

    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
    Video

    Video New US Ambassador to Somalia Faces Heavy Challenges

    The new U.S. envoy to Somalia, who was sworn into office Monday, will be the first American ambassador to that nation in 25 years. He will take up his post as Somalia faces a number of crucial issues, including insecurity, an upcoming election, and the potential closure of the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. VOA’s Jill Craig asked Somalis living in Kenya’s capital city Nairobi how they feel about the U.S. finally installing a new ambassador.
    Video

    Video At National Zoo, Captivating Animal Sculptures Illustrate Tragedy of Ocean Pollution

    The National Zoo in Washington, D.C., is home to about 1,800 animals, representing 300 species. But throughout the summer, visitors can also see other kinds of creatures there. They are larger-than-life animal sculptures that speak volumes about a global issue — the massive plastic pollution in our oceans. VOA's June Soh takes us to the zoo's special exhibit, called Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea.
    Video

    Video Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roar

    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Melting Pot of Immigrants Working to Restore US Capitol Dome

    The American Iron Works company is one of the firms working to renovate the iconic U.S. Capitol Dome. The company employs immigrants of many different cultural and national backgrounds. VOA’s Arman Tarjimanyan has more.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora